Both today's Post
cover a "scathing" new audit (which you can read for yourself
at the DC Auditor's web site
) about the money being paid by the city to law firm Venable for legal work tied to the still-going stadium
land eminent domain cases going well above and beyond the $1.87 million initial budgeted. According to the Examiner, "Venable was awarded the contract in 2005, during Mayor Anthony Williams' administration, for one year plus four option years, at no more than $950,000 annually. But the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Contracting and Procurement 'did not develop and document a realistic projection of costs, or the source and amount of funding available for such services,' the audit reported, and no one in any agency monitored the deal to ensure the firm's billings were appropriate -- many were not." And it wasn't just those offices that dropped the ball; the Post adds, "All contracts worth more than $1 million must be approved by the D.C. Council. However, it appears the Venable contracts were renewed several times without the matter ever appearing before the council, Nichols's report found."
So, now what? All sorts of big problems with getting the money, because of the $611 million stadium cost cap? Examiner: "The D.C. Council nevertheless approved an emergency resolution Tuesday to pay Venable up to $3.8 million over the next two years [after paying them $1.2 million the first year] 'in support of the District's eminent domain litigation to determine the amount of just compensation due to the owners of parcels of land on the ballpark site.' The firm has performed many hours of discovery in preparation for mediation and trials expected to start later this year."